Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Jobs Session

We have finally gotten to a jobs bill in the legislative jobs session. This would be the rewrite of mining laws except that it isn't. This rewrite applies to only iron mines of which there is one. This is similar to the legislature rewriting wetland rules for one company. I keep hearing that companies need certainty in regulations otherwise they will go somewhere else where there is certainty. How exactly does having to go to the legislature to have the rules changed for your business produce certainty other than to make it certain that you need donate and lobby to the legislature? This is crazy and kind of makes Wisconsin look like a banana republic.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Manitowoc Crane

Manitowoc Crane machinists have gone on strike and the Wisconsin State Journal doesn't cover it. The situation is exactly reversed from what Governor Walker said about State employees. Manitowoc Crane CEO said that since the public sector unions have to recertify each year so should the private sector. They also wouldn't collect dues. The members voted 180 to 2 to reject this contract. Now they are on strike and injuries are up in the plant. How much is that costing the company? A company whose sales are up, profits are up, and wages are down. Just another example of the race to the bottom.

The Walker School Board Ad

Karin says in the new Walker school ad that the Governor has given us (the school boards) the tools to reduce our biggest costs. Just what exactly are the biggest costs? The cost of labor. Why doesn't Karin come out and say that? What could she be afraid of? This is what the people voted for, isn't it? We should extend these tools to all of the private sector as well.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Other 98%

There was a letter in today's Wisconsin State Journal about the other 98% who work hard and play by the rules. The letter writer clearly believes in the promise of America the problem is that if he paid attention reality would intrude. Over the last 4 years the other 98% have seen wages stagnate or decline. Over the last 4 years the other 98% have seen benefits (health care and pensions, retirement) decline, cost more, or be eliminated. Over the last 4 years the other 98% have watched as the wealthiest 1% have seen their salaries continue to rise to a point where the gap between the richest 2% and the other 98% is greater than at any time in US history. The letter writer talks about the occupy protesters as buying into the President's class envy and class warfare. Unfortunately, this is not class envy this is reality.

He also mentions accountability in regards to people who made poor spending decisions and he's right. But, no discussion of accountability can be complete without discussing the people who cooked up the derivatives, sold worthless paper, and deceived the other 98% into spending their hard earned money on worthless investments. Where is the accountability ever mentioned for those people? No they were able to walk away and save their companies with another $7 trillion dollars from the very people that they already robbed.

Where is the accountability for the corporation that moves all of their manufacturing overseas eliminating thousands of jobs here?

There is class warfare happening and the other 98% have already lost.

The War on Protest

This week it was announced that there were new rules for Wisconsin State Capitol protests. There should be no rules for protests otherwise they are not protests. This idea of having to get permits and pay for police (I doubt that any protest group want a police presence) amounts to an infringement of the right of peaceable assembly and the right to petition your government for redress of grievances. Maybe the founders should have written the first amendment more like the second with the infringement clause.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worse than the Patriot Act

The Senate passed a bill allowing expansive powers to the military to detain American citizens not just in foreign countries but in the United States, send those citizens to foreign countries to be imprisoned (maybe tortured), held indefinitely without charge, and subjected to military trials. This is unconstitutional. There is a reason that the military is not allowed to operate domestically it is called the constitution. Why is it that the small government, local control tea party members of the Senate were all for this? Could it be that the fallout from the occupy movement has the powerful worried that the local police will not keep draconian control of the populous? It does appear that way. The conservatives are all about smaller government until the order of society is threatened. At the State level they turn to the WI State Patrol, at the Federal level they are turning to the military.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Survey, Another Bottom Ranking for Fox

Another survey has been released that once again (7 times) confirms what those of us who interact with Fox viewers have suspected that people who self identify as Fox news viewers are least informed people in the country. Not only are poorly informed they also are more likely to believe things that are not true. They believe the lies about Obamacare, taxes, Occupy Wallstreet, Iraq, Iran,....

Where is Governor Walker?

There was an incident in Alabama last week which was a perfect opening for a job creating governor. An executive for Mercedes was arrested (Mercedes has an assembly plant there) on suspicion of being an illegal alien. The executive was in the wrong because he did not have his passport with him but arresting him should not have been the response. Gov. Walker should have offered Mercedes the former GM assembly plant since we are a state of many German immigrants in fact our English dialect has a German/ Norwegian accent. Oh, but that's right we like the Alabama law and intend on passing a similar measure, I guess it is another missed jobs opportunity.

The Job Creators

Sen. John Kyl over the weekend once again repeated the nonsense that if you raise taxes on the job creators they won't be able to create jobs. I don't understand the party of business (Republican) and businessmen on this belief. Business and the rich for that matter don't hire people because they have money. They hire because their current workforce cannot keep up with consumer demand for their products or services. This has been stated as such in Wisconsin where companies that got big tax credits were asked if that was the reason that they hired and the CEOs said no. No it is demand that drives sales which drives hiring. Where a wrench is thrown in is that companies have a choice to expand to foreign countries at possibly a much lower cost than expanding domestically with tax incentives.

What we ought to do is end the Bush tax cuts. End corporate welfare, grants and tax credits, in exchange for a company staying in a city or state. Replace corporate welfare with the big stick of increased government regulation and taxation if you locate your factory overseas. Rewrite the free trade agreements to be free and fair trade with similar wages, worker health and safety regulations, and similar protections for the environment.

Friday, November 25, 2011

UC Davis Chancellor

The Chancellor at UC-Davis appears before students and states that she is shocked and appalled at the actions of police during the protests. Sounds reasonable, but then it comes out that she wanted the police to remove the protestors. Now her story has changed to be well I did mean to use force. You can't green light the police and then be shocked when the police use force to accomplish their task. If she didn't want the police to escalate to the use of force she should have instructed the police to not interfere and let the protest happen. Instead she wanted it ended, the police used excessive force, the film went viral, and the protest is now bigger than it was originally.

At the very least the chancellor should resign. At the worst the board of reagents should fire her. The chief of police should resign or be fired. There was never going to be a peaceful resolution, just look at how the police were armed

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Super Committee Fails

Who couldn't see this coming when the committee was created? I have to laugh at the shock of it all. My question is how much precious tax money was spent by this committee over the past couple of months? Maybe congress should pay that money back, after all they had to know that this committee would fail.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 99%

I was reading the paper today and they ran a guest column by an economist who argues that Americans are rich when compared to the rest of the world even when the standard of living is taken into account. This is the conservatives argument about how we should be thankful. Basically what they are advocating is a race to the bottom for everyone except the top 1%. This is just the wrong way to look at things. You can't compare the US to Sudan, we should be making comparisons to Denmark or Germany. If you do want to compare to the third world we are rapidly heading there in terms of income disparity, personal mobility, lack of health care, wage depression,... Sure we make more money but many are earning less and less and the cost to maintain the current standard of living is not going down with income. If we are going to make a correction everything should come down in cost with wages. This is not going to happen, most business leaders don't see that less money equals less sales. But, this what is happening, that is why the economy is tanking. More and more people can't afford to buy. We need to change the argument from how well off we are compared to the rest of the world to well off the previous generation of Americans were when compared to the current generation.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State

It was said to see the students of Penn State riot because their football coach was fired for failure to do the right thing when he was informed that a 10 year old boy was raped by his assistant coach. The students by rioting validate the reasoning that was used by all of the university officials, who have since been let go, that the football team and the image of the university was more important than stopping criminal activity. Big time college football gets a pass on crime as it is. It simply mystifies me how a large amount of the student body could come out in support of this type of criminal behavior. Contrary to what the goal of the administrators and coaches to limit damage to the football team and the university the investigation and the subsequent "protests" have caused irreparable harm to the university. The university will now be remembered as the school where football is king and that the law doesn't matter as long as there is a winning season. Instead of protesting the firing of a high paid (look at what professors who actually teach earn) football coach they should have been in the streets celebrating that firing and working to shield the school's academic programs.

All Big Ten universities survive on federal research grant money not football, however at Penn State they may have to start living on their football revenues. The federal government is investigating whether laws were broken and the penalty will be the loss of those federal dollars. We are talking potentially millions and that will be the true damage to the university.

Finally, the crime has got to hurt recruiting of the non-athlete, non-fan because the university has shown that football is number one and that they don't care about their students, potential students, or the greater community.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recalling the Gov

As recall mania starts to heat up there is one important thing to know is going on. The Republicans or their supporters are also collecting signatures with the intention of not turning them in. This will increase the likely hood of not getting enough signatures. If enough signatures are obtain the Republicans will deliver their signatures and then challenge signatures looking for duplicates. You can't sign more than once. So, it is important to get credentials from the person collecting signatures and only sign once.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Raises for State Employees

The salary compensation plan was announced today and as expected it contained no raises for state employees. What really struck me in reading both the reports of the announcement and other reader comments was this disconnect between reality and perception. The reality is that state employees haven't had a raise in 2 years already. In fact they had their take home pay reduced by 3 percent in each of the previous 2 years due to furloughs, something that Gov. Walker has said did not save the state money. This is probably where he gets his math on the benefit payment plan of only being a reduction of 8 percent when the reality is that it is closer to 12%. But yet there is this perception that the state workers have not felt the pain as everyone else has. Maybe it was that the media didn't play up the furloughs and the 0% raise or talk about the previous 2 years with a 1 and 2% raise (that is 4 years ago, what were private sector employees getting then?). Most state employees understand that they are not going to get rich, they hope to make ends meet and have decent benefits. That is changing with the changes to health care. The state plan is probably really no better than what a large company provides (although everyone is cutting health care benefits, and they say that we don't need a national plan).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ron Paul on Education

Ron Paul is calling for an end to the Federal Student Loan program saying that the program (or more specifically government) is responsible for soaring tuition costs. Look, I like Ron Paul but he is dead wrong on this one. I went to UW-Madison when the State (government) was subsidizing the school by 2/3. So, with research grants from corporations and the federal government and out of state students paying much more those of us from Wisconsin were left with paying $1000 per year. Not cheap but an amount of money that could be obtained by working a minimum wage job. The Federal Student Loan program also existed at that time. What has changed? The subsidy from the state to UW for one, they are slated to take a $250 million dollar cut this year alone. Federal research grants for another. This has resulted in tuition now being nearly $10,000 per year. In order to earn that much money working a minimum wage job you need to work full time for more than 33 weeks. The sad reality is that most 18 year olds are going to working for minimum. I would contend that it is nearly impossible for someone to "work" their way through school today.

There are still private research grants coming into the universities but this is a problem in another direction. A private company can place research into a university for much less money than doing it themselves. The problem is that when the students that did that work graduate and need a job no jobs are available because the research has been outsourced to the universities.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I don't get it

I was reading the paper today and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is dismayed that in this economy they are having a hard time finding qualified employees. I wonder if they think that maybe cutting education funding might be a problem. We are caught in a trap. We don't have qualified workers but we can't fund training and education that might create qualified workers. Unfortunately, business doesn't look at education as being important to their business so they advocate against it. The reality is that education is a big subsidy to business. Imagine if education was the responsibility of business. What do you think they will teach? How much will it cost them?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poll: 37 percent approve of Wall Street protest

Really a nice article today in the Wisconsin State Journal breaking down the recent poll of the country's opinions of the Wall Street protest. The comment from Jan Jarrell 54, retired school custodian, was interesting for a number of reasons. First clearly leaning to the tea party it illustrates the hypocrisy of that group, retired from a public job at 54. Isn't that something that they are against? Public jobs, early retirement, pensions, health care,... Second the statement that they should go to Washington because the government makes the policies. If only the evidence to that were true. Yes, Congress and the President ultimately make the policy but it is increasingly obvious that those policies were crafted long before by groups such as ALEC, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, PNAC, and the list goes on. What do those groups have in common. They are largely fund by large corporations, large banks, and wealthy individuals. Thanks the the Citizens United case we the people can never know who exactly is funding these groups because that can all remain secret. No I think that the protesters are targeting the right people. They are the ones that created a regulatory environment that allowed for the collapse of the economy and then had the nerve to ask that the taxpayers help them out with trillions in loans and subsidies all the while suggesting that less regulation and taxes on them will solve the problems that they created.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Republican Endgame

You have to wonder what the Republican endgame is. We are in the middle of special jobs sessions at both the State and Federal level and as far as I can tel they have done nothing to create jobs but they have done much to increase unemployment and further a social agenda. In Wisconsin there is a proposal that would criminalize stem cell research, there goes hundreds of jobs at UW Madison alone. In Wisconsin they passed a bill that would allow students test performance to be used to determine whether public school teachers are fired. This after much research indicates that many times it is not the teacher but the child. Private school teachers are exempt, although in the areas of the state with private school choice they are receiving taxpayer money. In Wisconsin the number one job creator is the UW system. What has the legislature done for them. They increased the budget cuts to $310 million dollars with another possible $50 million if we don't create more jobs, ironic. Instead of trying to help the UW help the state we had a hearing on what criteria is used to admit students. We should have had a hearing on what we can do to help students stay in school. At the federal level they decided to break-up the President's job package, so last night they voted on spending $45 million dollars to help states meet salary obligations for teachers, police, and firefighters. Every Republican voted no. I suppose that the argument is that they should take less money. The reality is that they have taken less and there have been layoffs. Is the goal to take the country back to the late 18th century when you contracted with a private company for fire protection? Remember the Chicago fire, that was the end of that practice. And what about police? I can agree that less police is a good thing but when there is real crime you want some police. Are we going to try a 18th century solution and privatize the force. Pay them like security guards and hope that with enough open and concealed weapons around you don't have to worry about crime. I really don't see how any of this is going to advance the needs of the nation not to mention promoting the general welfare.

Dane County's Heroin Epidemic

Dane County has a heroin epidemic and has formed a task force to crack down on it. The numbers of ODs shows that there is a problem. We have multiple problems to deal with if we are going to stem this epidemic. First is the plentiful cheap drug. This is largely a result of our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. For a country that professes to be engaged in a war on drugs we have watched as production of opium has skyrocketed in Afghanistan. Second you have to deal with the underlying reasons for addiction. Bad homes, bad childhoods, depression,... try to solve these issues. Third we need to get the economy moving so that there isn't this lingering malaise. And, finally I would not allow the police and EMTs to carry narcan. Yes, it works but I think that it is an enabler for continued drug use. People are overdosing and being saved which leads to a false sense of security. The example of the MT Horeb man who was "saved" on consecutive days by emergency personnel. Maybe if the chances of dying were increased people would wake up and use less of the drug.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Double Dipping

Double dipping or the process of hiring retires back in their old job so that they are collecting both salary and a pension. I agree with the papers that are saying this is problematic. Unfortunately these same papers could have taken a principled stand with David Ward. Ward was brought in as interim chancellor of UW Madison and then the papers joined with the faculty to recommend that he stay 2 years. What the public needs to know is that chancellor Ward is a retired state employee and as such is collecting a pension and a salary (a very high one). Why the double standard main stream state media.

Admissions Hearing

So this week we had a hearing to expose the unfair admissions practices of UW-Madison. Well I spend time on campus and I have to say that if it is unfair it is hard to tell, UW-Madison is a pretty white school. One thing that did come up in the hearing was that if you are an athlete you are given preference and not one legislator questioned this aspect of admissions. There are coaches that recruit athletes whose test scores make them eligible to go to college but are way way below what the average freshman has. Why isn't this discussed more? Could it be that the legislature doesn't have a problem with minority students taking up places on athletic teams as long as they are successful in their sport? Maybe the University should put all admissions on an equal footing and scale back this big time athletic program and focus on education.

Some Things That I Would Ask

You have 8-10 people running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States and they have been having a lot of debates but there are a few questions that should be asked but aren't. I have compiled a list:

1. You often talk of restoring the Constitution. Can you explain why some parts in your mind are open to interpretation and others are fixed? For example what exactly do you think that article 1 section 8 means by the role of the federal government is to promote the general welfare of the people?
2. It is often been stated that you are running to take the country back. From what or to where, can you explain?
3. Do you favor a repeal of the minimum wage?
4. You talk about smaller government but yet you are strong defense advocate, shouldn't defense have to shrink proportional to the rest of government?
5. If you are really for getting government out of people's lives why are you pro-life?
6. Will you renounce all nanny state laws as President including the war on drugs?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best Quote From Wall Street

"They arrest me for blocking the street but give a raise to the people who destroyed the world economy"

Mellon Mine

The Wisconsin State Journal is doing a series on the proposed mine in Mellon. I want to start by saying this is going to happen and Mellon will become like Hibbing MN at least for the next 35 years. Why is this such a sure thing? It is really pretty simple. Mellon is not Minoqua or Hayward, they are a backwater. The town that tourism passed by. So the mine will not be taking down the big hills in some recreational home owners backyard. The discussion ought to be is this mine a good use of public land resources? What about the water that will be used? What is the reclamation plan for the land? Are the hills going to be restored? Many questions that won't be considered. We are going to talk about jobs and how to get product to market.

How Dumb Can You Be

Pam Galloway (R Wausau) came out today saying that JB Van Hollen had over reached in his interpretation of the concealed carry law because he was requiring a 4 hour training period. She went on to say that no where in the law does it talk about a 4 hour training period. That is because Pam, it says that training is required, no specifics given. Keep in mind Pam, That the Gov. said that he would not sign any legislation that did not have a training component in it. So Pam, if you don't want the people charged with enforcing the law legislating from the bench maybe the next time you write a law that is so incredibly vague that it must be interpreted you'll do a better job. Your constituents would probably in the future actually really appreciate clear, concise legislation instead of the overly broad and vague law that is concealed carry.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It Can't Happen Here

If you read the first chapter of Sinclair Lewis' book you'll quickly realize that it has already happened here in the Republican party. They are poised to nominate Gov. Perry for theocrat in chief. Forget Ayn Rand (noted atheist) the right is all about melding religion and business into government.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wisconsin State Assembly

I just heard this today that at yesterday's assembly session (the only one of the month) there was a group of people filming the goings on. That was too much for Rep. Fitzgerald who had the palace guard (Wisconsin State Patrol not the Capitol Police) remove and arrest those people. He cited assembly rule 26 (which I've been told isn't published) as superseding a State law from 1990 not to mention the US Constitution as upheld by the State of Ohio Supreme Court which allow private citizens to record what is said in public meetings. My understanding was the individuals who were doing the taping did not trust that the assembly would be run according their rules or that what happens would not be reported. Judging by the lack of media coverage it would appear that their fears were realized. This move by Rep. Fitzgerald and the rest of the GOP members is appalling. You would expect this behavior from an authoratative government but not from a democracy. And, where were the Democrats? Only 2 of them had the nerve to challenge the action. They should have walked out, this is no way to run a government. Much like the Senate walk out in the end such a move would not have mattered. The Democrats are a non existent party. They cannot introduce legislation and none of their amendments even make it to the floor for a vote. Remember the days of all we ask for is an up or down vote (Republicans). At least there was discussion back then. The Rep. from Black River Falls suggested changing the rule to allow taping as allowed under State law and it was suggested that could be taken up at a later date. Minority leader Barca agreed effectively ending any discussion. Does anyone really believe that this will be taken up at a later date? If you do I have a toxic waste dump to sell you. The Assembly and the State Patrol join the State Supreme Court as disgraced institutions. I'm afraid that they all have shown themselves to be tools of the Republican party leadership and big business. This is a total authoritative move which is going to have consequences in the State. Oh and maybe this is why the worthless State Patrol was exempt from the changes in the state employee contracts, after all you need to have a palace guard.

Friday, September 9, 2011

War on Science

There has been a lot of talk of a war on science recently. Except this war was begun in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan. Reagan campaigned on and coined the phrase junk science. Reagan was against global warming, didn't believe in peak oil, and was against spending government money on scientific research unless it was for the military. So, I can't see how it is a surprise that the current Republican (at least the ones getting press) candidates are running against science and doing it effectively. They are so good that scientists are just one step above teachers as the most hated profession.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The President Caves in Again

The President caves again this time is spectacular fashion. The plan was to address a joint session of congress next Wednesday and the White House already had an agreement from the Speaker. When it was announced that the President would address a joint session, Rush Limbaugh objected because it would interfere with the Republican debate that was being carried on one cable network. This prompted Speaker Boehner to send a letter to the President citing a full schedule and vague security concerns. So, the President rescheduled to the opening night of the NFL (no conflict there) and in so doing he has shown the country that the Republicans are really in charge and he is becoming increasingly irrelevant. The Speaker has become the only speaker to ever deny a Presidential request to address Congress. You can spin this as a compromise but that is simply not true. The President really needs to come out and deliver a speech like FDR or Ike or Teddy Roosevelt to become relevant again.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I know that I wrote about this in March but once again we are having this discussion. It began when the Wisconsin State Journal about the CEO salaries of the health insurers in Madison. Then there were the overpaid teachers in New Berlin. Finally in today's Capitol Times Paul Fanlund was writing about the high cost of UW Football games without mentioning that the coach makes somewhere around $1 million and his assistants are in the 6 figure range. This may not seem related but they are. Teachers making around $50-60,000, CEO's of companies with revenues in the $100+ million, public employees making about what the teachers make, the chancellor of UW Madison making $400,000 all are overpaid. But, CEO's of other companies the same size as the health insurers earning 10 times more and football coaches making more than twice the chancellor and far more than a full professor are not overpaid. Some argue that it is related to how people are paid. This does not appear to be the case, coaches are paid with public money just like other public employees. It would appear that we don't like people that we have to deal with frequently earning more money than they do. But even that isn't the case because there currently is no outrage over doctor's salaries and lawyer's salaries. In fact being a lawyer is now considered more honorable than being a teacher or public employee (except a big time sports coach) and lawyers used to be the most hated profession. It would appear that the problem is just with those who are considered the stereotypical public employees and they are just not making that much money.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wausau Labor Day

It seems that labor in Wausau is trying to get back to the roots of labor day by not allowing Republicans to march. As the labor representative said, why should we have people who talk about supporting labor one day a year but try to undermine labor the other 364 days?. Now the Mayor has said that labor needs to pay for the parade. And why not, labor is going to make a statement here and I think that it is great.

Teachers Handbooks

Now that the unions have been limited the WI school boards have revised the teacher handbooks which function as work rules. This is all fine and makes sense. Also, as part of the budget repair bill there must be a public hearing on these runs. So in New Berlin they had their public hearing where the anti-education crowd shouted down (remember when they were saying it was the union thugs that shouted down the opposition, hmmm looks like it goes both ways) anyone who questioned these rules. The point of the hearing was to question the rules which like the State budget was going to pass anyway. In this case the hearing was a formality. In other districts the staff and administration came up with the rules in New Berlin the administration came up them and imposed them on the staff. Again this is fine, that is how the private sector works, but the hearing was allowed for and the teachers and parents should have been allowed to express their opposition to a document that the board had no intention of changing. Instead this opposition group had to make a scene which has now draw national attention to their city. I think that it is not very smart to go to war with your employees and youreally don't want to do it publicly. All you have to do is look at the Governor. Everything was going to pass but he had to get national attention which led to protests at the capitol, a demoralized workforce, and massive numbers of retirements.

Disaster Aid

Now you have all of the anti government types out there with their hands out for Federal Disaster Aid. Some of them have said that we should cut spending to balance the aid. Really, does anyone think that Eric Cantor can convince me that that projects and or aid to Wisconsin should be cut and that money should go to Virginia? I don't think so. Here's the way disasters should be covered. The states should be budgeting for disasters. The Federal Government should provide money for Federal roads that are destroyed, money for destroyed Federal facilities, logistical support (even Gov. Christie had to concede that this was beneficial), law enforcement support, and medical aid. The states should be budgeting for the number of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and forest fires like how we budget for snowstorms except that if the money isn't spent it carries to the next year so that the fund builds up. Unfortunately this will never happen because you have low tax states like Florida that would have to raise taxes because the chances of them getting a hurricane is close to 100% and they cost a lot of money. Yes they do, so does snow plowing, which might explain why taxes in this state are higher than Florida. Not only that Florida expects us to bail them out when they have a national disaster that no one in Florida it seems could see coming but the rest of the country knew was going to happen. The states in the hurricane zones expect the rest of the country to pay for every hurricane, I say enough.

What the Federal Government should not do is allow anyone to rebuild on the outer banks. President Clinton refused to authorize Federal money be spent rebuilding and caught a lot of heat for it. Now many of those homes that were rebuilt have been destroyed again and again the owners are lining up to get Federal money. I hope that President Obama says no and then goes a step further and says that you can't rebuild. How many times should the rest of the country rebuild a house that is worth more than what the average taxpayer lives in?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

City of Madison Budget

I think that with the budget plan that Mayor Soglin released was the sharp stick in the eye for Republicans. He said that he would save money by cutting snow plowing and salting. The Republicans who cut aid to the cities complained about the state of Madison roads a couple of winters ago. They felt that the State should take over plowing for the city of Madison. The Mayor may have just figured out how to cut the budget significantly by having the State take over plowing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gotcha Media

Ever since Sarah Palin coined the phase "gotcha media" when referring to the mainstream media Republicans have been using the phrase as a way to avoid answering certain questions yet they all actively seek opportunities to be on. The latest examples are Newt Gingrich and Christine O'Donnell. Newt bristled at being asked about Libya in such a way that his contradictory statements on the topic were apparent. I think that the fact that he had a definitive opinion before he didn't is significant for someone who wants to be President. Under President Gingrich we would have been bombing, had special forces engaged, and been supplying the rebels only to leave 2 days later (or was the change only because Obama is President). The Christine O'Donnell was asked about statements that she made in the main stream media and now won't comment on. If you want to seek a high office your views are important to the voters. It isn't so much that they are trying to put Republicans on the spot it is that Republicans keep making outlandish statements and holding ridiculous positions. At least Michele Bachmann is willing to answer questions about her statements, granted she does not give the same answer as when she originally made the statements in the first place.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've been suffering from my second cold of the Summer and nothing seems to be helping so off I went to Walgreen's. I decided to try some sudafed based cold medicine. Not only is it now kept behind the counter but you must present a photo id (preferably a drivers license) so that it can be scanned, and then you must sign. All of this for 20 pills. You would need hundreds to make meth. There is more scrutiny in buying sudafed then there is in getting on a plane. This is crazy. Has this policy worked in reducing meth? A drug that many are now saying is imported from Mexico.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional

That's right the individual mandate is unconstitutional! Great! now can we get the courts to allow hospitals and clinics to turn away patients who don't have insurance or money to cover the cost of their care. If people really want a repeal of Obamacare they need to also get a clause to deny care because these services are driving up costs for the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recall Day Has Arrived

I don't live in a district with a recall and for the most part do not agree with them as a political tactic because I think that you have do something more serious than following the caucus on votes. That being said I am surprised by the voter turn out, it's high. Maybe if we had this kind of concern in 2008, 2009, and 2010 people wouldn't have felt the need to have recalls because those elections would have had different outcomes. We got here because people didn't pay attention or didn't care. You try to tell some one what is going on or what somebody is planning to do they either don't believe you or they state that they don't care. Apparently now they do care and it probably will be a good night for the Democrats. High turnout is always good for the Democrats. Lets just hope that the reconstituted Senate will work a little better but I have serious doubts considering who will be left from the old Senate, especially Sen. Fitzgerald who should be impeached for how he ran the Senate. The best that we can hope for is a slowing of the ALEC agenda. And just where are all of those jobs?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tomorrow the ads End

After tomorrow we will finally be rid of the Luther Olson and Fred Clark recall ads. Maybe they are so irritating because I don't live in the district. What I see as an outsider is that both candidates are flawed. After listening and watching these ads for a couple of months it boils down to "vote for me I'm not as bad as the other guy". That is a terrible way to decide an election and an even worse way to spend 7.2 million dollars.

The Next Recession

It is sure starting to look like we are on the way to the next great recession. Similar to the 1937 Roosevelt recession the Republicans are forcing the President to pull back government spending in the economy which will cause unemployment. They also made an issue out of the debt ceiling and then got the US bond rating downgraded which is leading to a roiling of the stock market. This has to be by design there is no way that by just dumb luck all of these things could have intersected at this point in time to bring down the economy. The question should be what is the end game. Unlike FDR, Obama is not likely to see the writing on the wall and recommit to helping the people are going to be getting hammered by the downward trend in the economy. I understand that the Conservatives want to undo the New Deal, but then what? Lots of jobs for $2 an hour and no one to buy products? Or more likely, no jobs, no government support, and ultimately no product sales. Welcome to the decline of the US and it wasn't the liberals fault.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Sign Said Stop Obama (?)

I was riding my bike today and as I was coming to the crest of a hill in the yard I saw a sign that said stop Obama. Now this was some pretty expensive property not as much as the deposit $20 in my mailbox person but nice. Clearly a rural Republican. My question is stop him from what? There is so little difference between Obama and Bush that it is almost like Bush never left office. We are still in 2 wars and pursuing 3 and 4 much to the dismay of the President's supporters. The President agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts which has helped fuel the current debt and deficit crisis. They both spend like crazy. Bush probably would not have bailed out GM but he would have given more money to the banks. Bush may not have extended unemployment but he would have business a break from taxation. Yes he needs to be stopped from turning to the right, unfortunately I don't think that is what was meant by the sign.

Why Don't conservatives Understand Insurance?

Once again conservatives are proving that they don't understand insurance or taxation for that matter. The latest issue is the "mandate" that health insurers must cover birth control. Their objection is either equating birth control to abortion and hence they don't want to pay for on moral grounds. The other objection is that people are being forced to pay for something that they are not going to use. But, yet in both cases they have no trouble paying for births. Insurance works on the concept of shared risk. They get a lot of people to pay in and then they use that money to cover losses. When the cost of losses goes up so does the premium. The cost of a birth far exceeds the cost of birth control. So, in theory the cost of insurance could go down with this mandate, it probably won't but it could. Interestingly enough sterilization is a covered cost as is viagra so why not birth control?

Taxes work the same way. There are a lot of people who object to paying for war for example. Generally conservatives say that paying for war is the cost of living in America but funny how that same argument doesn't apply for liberal expenditures. Like insurance, taxes are about sharing the risk (cost). If want to be the rugged individuals that Conservatives talk about we should move to eliminate the government and other cooperative arrangements (insurance, farm coops, unions,...) and see how that works for people.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Goverment Can Stimulate the Economy

I heard once again that government doesn't create any jobs. This is absolutely false. When the government has a road built the company that they contract with creates jobs. People who work directly for the government spend their money in stores and restaurants. Those businesses then hire people to meet demand. If the roads were private there is a good chance that those jobs will still be there. If we get rid of public employees there is a good chance that the ancillary jobs would go away. So, government spending does create both direct and indirect jobs.

Wall Street Gotta Have a Deal

Wall Street was active in the debt deal discussions saying that we had to have a deal. The problem was they never said what that deal should look like. The Republicans assumed that they wanted less taxes, less regulation, and less spending and they delivered. The problem is that the market continued its decline and Wall Street's economists have finally started to say what the problem is and how they recommend solving it. They are saying the problem is that consumers are not spending, companies with cash are not spending, and companies are not hiring. They are now recommending spending on stimulus. This is the position that Robert Reich had stated as long as a year ago. The problem that we have now is that this is the exact opposite of the deal just passed. To quote an old saying they are "a day late and a dollar short".

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rep. Joe Walsh

Self proclaimed tea party freshman Joe Walsh seems to have a little trouble paying his own bills. It turns out that he owes $100,000 in child support payments. What happened to sitting around the kitchen table and prioritizing your expenditures? Maybe you did and you decided that you wouldn't pay the bill for your children's upbringing over and over again. I certainly hope that they are not getting public assistance. You can't be a family values representative and do stuff like this without some outrage. You also shouldn't be for the cuts in public assistance (which you are for) when your family could be on it due to your deadbeat status. Why hasn't the press asked the congressman how he would solve the deadbeat parent problem rather than some nebulous blame of the tax code.

Michelle Bachmann on Home Loans

This was the most amazing statement from anti-government candidate Michelle Bachmann. She stated that she got a Fannie/ Freddie loan because you can't get a loan today without going through the government and that is why government needs to get out of the business. No! It is true that loans are sold to other institutions so you don't really know who will ultimately be holding it. It is unclear, because she won't answer the question, whether that is what happened in her case. One solution to the Government holding many loans would be to change how the program is run so that they can't go on the open market and buy loans. But no, her solution is the elimination of a program that has helped many working people including herself buy a home. If she so objected to being on the hook to the Government why didn't she refinance. My loan is held by a private firm so private loans are out there.

Michelle Bachmann Wants it Both Ways

Michelle Bachmann gave a speech a few days ago where she said that she was running for President and not her husband so questions about his business were off limits. Lets see how this works. Michelle is a co-owner of that business. She also states that one of her qualifications for the Presidency is the fact that she is a small business owner, that would be her husbands business. But yet we can't ask questions about that business. Maybe she was referring to the farm that she co-owns. No that one doesn't produce any income for her since some of the income generated comes from the Government. Unless of course, you look at her tax returns which state that she did make money as a farmer. But again, you can't ask questions of the Presidential candidate about the farm. The same thing is true about her family. On the campaign trail she touts that she has 23 children. Many of them are foster kids and it is noble that she took them in but yet if questioned about this family she says that it is off limits. She uses being a business owner, farmer, and family person all of the time in campaign stops, website, and literature but yet you can't know more than she is willing to tell. This is very similar to Sarah Palin who has been accused of using her children to get media attention but when asked about exclusives in the People magazine article for instance the response is that "my family is off limits". Well then don't put them out there in an effort to get votes but refuse the inevitable questions that will arise. The same is true for Michelle Bachmann. Don't talk about your small business credentials in a speech and then refuse to elaborate about the business to the press. If you have nothing to do with the operation of the business, farm, or family admit to that and we can move on, but if you insist on using props the press has a duty to ask questions about them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The terrorist attack in Norway was simply hard to believe. While this was going on there 2 Norwegians finishing the Tour de France having won 4 stages (out of 21), holding the race lead for a week, simply an amazing performance. If anything should have helped bring the country together that was it. Sadly one person and I'm sure others of similar sentiment could not get past their fear and hatred of people not like them. So this guy goes and kills followers of the LIBERAL government after having published a rant about why this needed to be done. From what has come out and even been stated by our right wing commentators he is not all that different than the tea party and that should scare everyone.

Ron Johnson gets Blamed in WI

This from the Tomah paper Ron Johnson is part of the problem not the solution he so wanted to be.

Dems Against the Debt Ceiling, Oh My!

A lot is being written about how the Democrats, particularly President Obama and Sen. Reid, were against raising the debt ceiling in 2006. But yet that reporting is incomplete. So the Democrats were against an increase but were accused of blowing up the budget in the 2008 and 2010 election cycle. What's up with that. Well the Democrats objected to increasing the debt ceiling because it was being used to fund programs off budget namely 2 wars and bank bailouts. The Democrats wanted these items put into the budget, which they did causing the budget to explode. In the end this is a more honest accounting of the nations expenses and has probably slowed the growth of debt. Now Republicans are opposed to any increase without massive spending reductions. The problem is that the debt is paying for past expenses. We are currently running a deficit because the job creators are not creating jobs or even spending. Until the economy gets moving the spender of last resort is the government, the wealthy as so often in the past cannot spend enough to turn the economy around and when coupled with trade and labor policies that favor creating jobs outside of the country you have the stagnation with record profits for a few that we see now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reagan Was Right?

That is what the bumper sticker on the Suburban in front of me said, Reagan was Right. About what? Raising the debt limit multiple times? Getting into an arms race with the Soviet Union helping to cause them to collapse and leaving us with $2 trillion in debt? Getting involved in a war in the Middle East where we trained and supported a certain Osama Bin Laden? Helping to destabilize Pakistan? Pursuing a war on drugs that has led to the destabilization of Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico? Funding the overthrow of the government of Nicaragua? Deregulating the banks which led to the banking collapse of 2008? Deregulating the airlines which was supposed to bring increased competition and lower airfares? Last time I checked there were less airlines. Deregulating the telecommunication industry? Again less competition and more costly. No Reagan's legacy is one of instituting what should be apparent to everyone as failed economic policies. Of instituting a foreign policy predicated on war and aiding people who you wouldn't want to meet on the street let alone put in charge of a country. He will also be remembered for pursuing an insane war on drugs that has cost more lives than the drugs themselves. He will also be remembered for spending into oblivion much of it off budget (debt),

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creationism at the Fair

I just saw that there is a woman who has purchased space to espouse creationism/ intelligent design. What! The Wisconsin State Journal ran a story on this and one man was quoted as saying that it should be allowed since she isn't pushing her beliefs on anyone. Except that she is propagandizing thousands of people with a belief that is totally wrong. We know that this technique works, why is it ok to be promoting an idea that is wrong?

This is the problem with liberals. We can't offend this person and she isn't really hurting anyone. That is just crap! She is influencing and at some point there will be critical mass in liberal Madison to change the education system to be one that includes intelligent design and people will wonder how this happened. It happened because people weren't paying attention and weren't willing to offend people who seem so nice. This is how propaganda works. Get people who ordinarily wouldn't believe something to believe that it is true.

Michelle Bachmann Article

I had this link sent to me and it is awesome, congratulations Chicago Tribune.,0,3162903.column

The author really points out how the anti-government crowd is really dependent on the government, imagine that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Doesn't Matter

I was attempting to have a discussion about the debt ceiling and was loudly told that it just doesn't matter. That is just so wrong. When this country goes under we are all going to pay. This person was getting financial aid for college. Guess what one of things on the chopping block, that is right student loans and grants. Someone else said the same thing, and they are refinancing a house. When the country defaults interest rates are expected to go up, so do it now. Then I heard the same thing from a retired person. All programs for the "elderly" are on the chopping block. Yes it does matter and when you don't pay attention we get people like what we have elected in Wisconsin.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Just saw it and it was great!

Maybe the Country Deserves It

I keep hearing people calling into talk shows who are just parroting the Republican talking points that I think maybe the country deserves their plan. I hear a lot about taxes, raising taxes. Except we are talking about letting the Bush tax cuts expire on incomes over $250,000. Most of these callers can't imagine what $250,000 looks like but yet go to the mat to defend those individuals. This is just crazy, but it is a large percentage of people. So, let's give them what they want, even lower taxes to create jobs (just don't mention that we have had 10 years of tax cuts which created exactly negative 3 million jobs), more deregulation of business (don't mention that this deregulation led to the economic collapse), and more tax breaks for corporations (don't mention that they are making record profits and doing zero expansion in this country or giving their employees raises). All we need to do is look at the South American countries that have tried essentially the same thing. They all wound up broke with a huge disparity between the haves and have nots with almost no one left in the middle. These economic policies are a big reason why so many of those countries are led by socialist governments today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tired of Paying for It!

I keep hearing the above but yet everyone's solution is to throw people out on the street, cut them, make them get a job (you checked the help wanted section lately?),.... So, on Sunday I'm reading the Wisconsin State Journal about the State Parks. The point of the article was that they are under funded and they have used volunteers to their limit. Right around 25% of the park positions are unfilled. Guess what there is a ready workforce available already collecting a State check. The people on welfare the same people who others are tired of paying for. The original Welfare system under FDR required work if able. I say let's go back to that philosophy. There are jobs in the public sector that we are not going to hire so someone will not be displaced. Put them to work in the parks and anywhere else where we need additional employees.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Biddy Martin

The have been a lot of negative things written about Chancellor Martin since she left. A lot of writers have focused on the ill fated Badger partnership. Many of these same writers have complained about how UW-Madison is not affordable and accepts too many out of state students. Keep in mind that this was a chancellor has been all about trying to make the university affordable. What they wanted her to do the traditional thing and lobby a legislature that is generally hostile to anything Madison and has been cutting the State contribution to higher education over the last 20 years? instead she has looked outside the box (many alumni have debated for years taking the campus private) and proposed a public authority. She as recently as last week proposed eliminating the tuition increases for those students whose family earns <$80,000 per year. That is a sizable number of students. Making college affordable! She also gets high marks from me in terms of communication. Whenever the any breaking news that may make the UW look bad she was always out front of the story explaining the campus position and what was being done.

She may have only been here three years but we lose one of the best chancellors of the last 30 years.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eric Cantor is an Obstructionist

Eric Cantor in all seriousness says he doesn't understand why the President is mad at him. Come on Eric at least be sarcastic about it so that we know that you know what you did. I look at it as the President has finally stood up to the Republicans. You can't continue to get your way from the President and then change your position to a position that you had previously rejected. You could call them flip floppers but this is all part of the plan. The know they were against it before they were for it. They know that they have been getting their way. What exactly is wrong with raising taxes on the top 1% of earners? They are all still doing well and obviously not creating jobs. Instead they are cutting the benefits and wages of their workers. The republicans led by Eric Cantor are standing with these people at the expense of the country and the rest of the 99% of the country. This is how revolutions start, maybe the Republicans should study history or convince the job creators to create jobs.

Michelle Bachmann on the Debt Ceiling

Michelle Bachmann yesterday weighed in on the debt ceiling discussion. As expected she was all for defaulting but she said that it would be no big deal the country won't default because there is plenty of money. She was half right, the President has said that he won't let the country default he won't pay current expenses. i think that will be a big deal. Sure we could not pay contractors, soldiers (especially those deployed), welfare, and unemployment (no longer funded due to the unemployment extensions) but to say that this would not be a big deal doesn't understand the economy very well. Then there are the funded programs that we could take money from (Social Security and Medicare) which would also be a big deal. The Republicans want the country to look like it did in 1929 and they won't stop until there are people on the streets and soup lines. This issue is ridiculous. Every President has run a deficit in bad economic times. The debt ceiling was raised several times under President Bush and no one objected. He had to raise the debt ceiling because of his tax cuts and unbudgeted wars, at least now we are trying to straighten this mess out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where are the Jobs?

It has been 10 years of the so called Bush tax cuts that were supposed to be an incentive for the "job creators" to create jobs. Where are they? The latest data indicates that the wealthy have gotten richer during the recovery whereas the job seekers are still seeking. We are now being told that if just cut taxes for the wealthy more and provide more tax breaks for business while cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and education programs for the working masses. Does anyone really believe that this plan is going to work? First off as the masses have lost jobs, salary, and benefits their buying power has declined. The reality is that without customers the job creators are not going to hire. What they are doing is cutting operating costs in the United States by off shoring jobs to places like China. US companies are also selling more products in China because there are millions of Chinese customers that now have some money. A better choice than cutting taxes for the wealthy would be to give the job creators the gift that they have dreamed of, the elimination of the minimum wage. That way those low wage jobs could be created here instead of overseas. This won't save the economy unless we have an appropriate reduction in prices, but that hasn't stopped the Republicans from enacting policies that got us to where we are today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ballanced Budget Amendment

Our own Ron Johnson has proposed an amendment to the Constitution which would require a balanced budget. On the surface this sounds like a great idea especially with the ongoing discussion of the debt ceiling. A balanced budget amendment will not do anything about the debt. It will make going to war next to impossible unless you budget for it. No more military adventures into a country like Iraq. No more bailouts, unemployment (the fund is broke), road building,... Under the Johnson plan one could assume that in bad economic times government will sit on the sidelines and do nothing because it isn't in the budget. I think that we tried that in 1928 and it was a disaster. Government at that point becomes the only entity that can spend. I don't foresee Government running a surplus to cover disasters, wars, or bad economies. Remember George Bush gave away the Clinton surplus.

What did the Governor Promise

I am frequently told that our Governor did not campaign on abolishing the public employee unions. While he may not have said it specifically he certainly talked extensively about doing something about employee salaries and benefits. One could assume that he needed to eliminate bargaining to get that accomplished. Had local employees not been included there wouldn't have been the outrage. I for one am not surprised what the Governor has done and continues to propose.

Tammy Baldwin for Senate?

Tammy Baldwin was interviewed a couple of weeks ago in the Capitol Times. She discussed how she was thinking about running for Senate and how the rest of the State was not that different from her own district ( a mix of urban and rural). My only thought was that she sure doesn't get out in the rest of the State much. There are vast differences, Also, she fails to mention that she has a rural problem in her current district. The problem for Tammy is going to be once you get 100-200 miles outside of Madison the level of education drops, the income level drops, and the people are generally more conservative. Her message is going to be a tough sell. Tammy's legislative record is sparse but a lot of that is due to being in the minority. The problem is that to adequately explain that you need an infomercial. Sure the things that she stands for should be popular among the people outside of Madison but these are the same people who voted against their best interests in 2010 and they will do it again in 2012.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heard on the Radio

I was listening to Randi Rhodes today and she's a liberal but like myself she was railing against the handouts that go to big business and the wealthy. Everyone is concerned about giving money to the poor and the unemployed but if you tell government you're going to open a factory and the government says "how much do you want". It's ridiculous! Give me $1 million dollars and I'll go into business. But us little guys can't get deals like that. In Wisconsin look at the money that was thrown at Mercury, GM (went under anyway), Chrysler (closed the plant), Talgo (moving), and this is the short list. That is our money that went to pick winners and they missed on a few occasions.

The President Blows it on the Debt Limit

The President gave a press conference yesterday where he was getting close to being on track but in the end he failed again. As I see there are 2 choices in dealing with these Republicans (keep in mind that these guys voted to raise the debt limit many times but now they are not going raise it), first is he could just agree and let the country go into default and take the country back to 1929 when we had much less of a social safety net than we have today. Just maybe when there are people on the streets because they don't have anything we can finally have an adult discussion about how the economy should work. His other choice is to walk into congress with $300 billion in budget cuts. Where is going to get that? Shut down the wars and bring the troops home. Cut the military force by 50%. Redeploy the navy to US coastal ports. Cut the defense budget by about 50%. Cut funding for all new weapons systems. Force the Republicans to vote on that. The country will not be left defenseless. We can cut our military 50% and still have more military than most countries, especially the ones that we are likely to go to war with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Michelle Bachmann and Farming

Now Michelle Bachmann is backing away from any ownership of a farm in Wisconsin. I would think that anyone running for President, especially as a Republican would play up their roots as farmer. Aren't farmers the kind of conservative, family values, rugged, independent, individuals that the Republicans count as their own? Yes, farmers get subsidies. She should be up front about it. Say something like "I do oppose these subsidies but I'm not going to turn them down" or she could admit that the image of the farmers is not what the general population has. Family farms don't exist without subsidies whether it is price supports, crp payments, government purchases, disaster payments, or planting regulations farmers get government money and then complain about government payments to others. The press just never talks about how much government money farmers are getting.

Mineral Point/ Junction Road Update

Once again the Mineral Point/ Junction Road/ County M intersection shows a lack on planning among the government entities involved. The current plan is to rebuild the intersection resulting in the elimination of the building that houses Steve's Liquor. The reality is that there is just not enough space that doesn't have buildings on it to solve the problem. What to do about this problem. Well some government body approved the building of a cell phone store on the East side of the intersection. This makes absolutely no sense for a number of reasons. First it will narrow the area that can be used to reconstruct this intersect without the demolition of a brand new building. Second why do they need a new building? There are plenty of vacant retail locations available on Madison's Westside. It is really quite astonishing that there is so little thought about the increased traffic that will use the intersection especially just weeks after the controversial rebuild plan was announced.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Justice Prosser

After winning a tight election to the supreme court, Justice Prosser has allegedly assaulted a fellow judge. People are calling for his resignation, that is not going to happen. He could be impeached, again not likely. He has lost the support of the Governor (a little bit) who would appoint the replacement (pressure on the Justice might work). It looks like we will be stuck with the Justice for the foreseeable future.

The Recalls

I was asked over the weekend why I don't have a recall Walker bumper sticker. My response has shocked many. I believe that recalls should be rare and that they should be for someone who has done something that rises to the potential of being illegal. So, I don't agree with these recalls. The Republicans campaigned on the agenda that has caused people to be upset with them. The time for a recall was the last election. I had several people comment that they didn't think that would pass everything or that they didn't know what they were going to do. Jefferson described the dangers of an uninformed electorate, I think that we are finally seeing that electorate. This is a fact that is shown in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) civic literacy quiz. The quiz results are bad even among groups who should know better (elected officials).

Since we are going to have the recalls I will vote in them, all the while disagreeing that they should take place.


Michelle Bachmann says that she didn't benefit from $30,000 in State and Federal money to her husbands clinic or in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal money to her father in laws farm (she is a partner). This defies logic. The State money was used to train employees. Come on Michelle you are supposed to be a business woman. Great the money was used to train employees, or stated another way it was $30,000 that you didn't have to spend. How is this not a personal benefit? With the farm she reported income. She can say that it went to her in laws , but without these subsidies would the farm have been profitable enough to have paid her income? It is unlikely. She would end such programs. I agree that we should end farm subsidies and set price by public trading. Such a program will no doubt lower farm income and quite possibly the price of food. That is what farm subsidies do, the artificially increase the price of farm commodities. Michelle Bachmann really needs to study the issues of what government pays for.

On another note she has interest in a farm in Wisconsin yet has never mentioned the unfair nature of the Eau Claire rule in setting (government) milk prices.

Also, isn't ironic that the person most opposed to health reform owns a clinic?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spending Proposal

The spending proposal to limit spending to 18% of the GDP is a good one. The problems with this proposal however are numerous.

1. Spending hasn't been at such a level since before WWII.
2. The promoters of this bill are the same people who helped get us here in the first place.
3. It would prohibit spending more even in times of crisis like what we are in right now.

Tim Pawlenty at the Debate

There was just so much quotable material from the Republican debate the other night but this one from Tim Pawlenty stands out. When asked about people born here and citizenship he responded by saying that there is nothing in the Constitution that says that you are a citizen just because you are born here. Unfortunately for Mr. Pawlenty that is exactly what the Constitution says. By his reasoning only the people who obtain citizenship are citizens (they had to more than just be born here). I'm waiting for the mis-spoke explaination. Maybe he just meant brown people from Central and South America couldn't be citizens if born here. I'm pretty sure that my ancestors started families here before they were naturalized citizens, so what does that make my Great Grandfather, and anchor baby?

Obama is being sued

This is a case that I agree with, although it is for the most part being pursued by people had no problem allowing other Presidents to do the same thing. Notable exceptions: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. And these same Republicans were all over the TV before we went into Libya saying that the President needed to act. So, when he does they are all upset that they didn't get a chance to vote. The good thing about the suit is that it might keep us from committing ground forces to Libya so that we can maintain our current 2 war posture.


I overheard in response to Chancellor Martin's announcement (who I thought was an excellent chancellor) the following. Maybe we should get someone without a degree like the Governor and many of his cabinet people because they understand the real world. To which someone responded "I seem to remember when you were all upset that people without degrees in our organization were being paid more than you". My response was that it is a little different when you are talking about people that you agree with in terms of qualifications. I do agree that a degree is not the end all be all but I do think that if you are in a high level position in government that you can benefit from having a broader education about the state, the country, and the world and how they interact and operate. And, maybe a little economics about how companies expand when they need to meet demand, they don't expand because they have money laying around.

Personally I'm hopeful that we hire a chancellor with only a BS so that I can apply.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling

A very interesting if not unexpected ruling was handed down late yesterday. What the court essentially said was due to separation of powers we have no jurisdiction over the legislature when questions of their rules come up. Historically the courts have said that they have the ability to review all laws, but not in Wisconsin anymore. Basically what the court said is that the legislature was being accused of violating their own rules and that it was up to the legislature to enforce their rules. This is so cool, I can't wait until we get a legislature comprised of people who the 4 don't agree with and try to do the same thing. Does anyone seriously believe that this court will hand down the same ruling? I doubt it the 4 in the majority have shown that they are nothing but party loyalists. Remember when Justice Crooks was considered the conservative on the court, he wrote a separate dissent on this case.

As a post script the unions have filed Federal cases, I guess they just want to see what a 5-4 US Supreme Court decision looks like.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The President's Economic Team

Great letter to the editor today explaining why it is a good thing that Obama's economic team is going back to academia because they were out of touch with how real economics works. Really! Most of Obama's team was pretty conservative. Larry Summers former head of the world bank and from the Chicago School as a liberal laughable. If Obama were to follow a liberal economic policy you would want Reich and Krugman. Those guys weren't called and they disagree frequently with the President's policies. Instead the President has chosen to be Bush lite on economics. He has followed the Bush policies of giving the store away to the wealthy and big business with hope that they might throw a little bit back to us. His replacement picks will be telling, I'm not holding my breath. All we need to do is look at South America to see the future of following the policies advocated by the republicans and their Chicago trained economists.

Bike License Plates

A recent letter in the State Journal suggested that bikes be licensed so their traffic violations can be called into the police by the law abiding (this being Madison if you are in a car when the light turns red that means 3 more can go) car driving public. This is a great idea and I think that we have enough people in the Legislature who would support such a measure that we could get it done. The bike riding community should also be for such a measure. They should support it because overnight they would become in terms of numbers the largest users of the road system in the state as document through the sale of licenses. I would think that fact should entitle the bikes as the largest user group of the road system more say in how transportation funds are spent. It should also entitle them to a little more law enforcement on the law abiding drivers who have declared open season on cyclists, through their intimidating driving actions and hit and run accidents. There continues to be riders getting hit and very little if any charges filed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Real Paul Ryan

I like many have wondered what would have prompted Paul Ryan to come up with his budget proposal that begins to undo 70 years of social welfare programs. Was he from a rich family that despised any handout that didn't go to them? It turns out that he wasn't. It turns out that Paul Ryan owes an awful lot to the United States Government and the US taxpayer. It turns out that his family collected social security survivor benefits. It turns out that the US taxpayer funded his college education. I'm sure that he was treated under medicaid. May have even collected food stamps, but unlike say the President (similar situation) who would leave the safety net Congressman Ryan says no I got mine. What Paul Ryan should do is write a big check to the US taxpayer for everything that they did for him plus interest. While the Congressman was enjoying his subsidized college years some of us were working, paying taxes, and covering our own college expenses. I can relate to the sentiment of doing away with all of these handouts because I have never gotten one but maybe we should recover money from the people who these programs helped.

New From the Republicans

A proposal has been put forward in the legislature to increase venture capital in the State of Wisconsin. Hmmm, how are they going to encourage that? They are going to do it by giving $200 million dollars to venture capital firms, mostly out of state companies, and having them invest. I agree with Glenn Grothman (R) who called it a scam. The investment banks (who did you think) will do ok, a few of the businesses that they picked will do ok, and the taxpayers might end up holding the bag. What happened to the "government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers"? Oh, that's right a private company is going to actually pick the winners and losers. The government is only going to pick the winning investment bank. This is going to be pure cronyism, currently there is money available for loans but many businesses have been unable to get loans. It all depends on who you know, as it always does.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tim Pawlenty What Happened?

Tim Pawlenty went from being dull to being crazy overnight. Gov. Pawlenty has introduced his economic plan and it makes the Ryan plan look reasonable. He would change Medicare immediately, he would eliminate capital gains taxes, he would lower the top tax rate to 25%, he would deregulate business more, and he would privatize all functions of government except the military. The theory is that if the wealthy just had more money they would finally create jobs. His plan would cost $7.8 trillion dollars over 10 years. This plan does nothing to increase demand for goods or spending which is what drives this economy. The rich cannot possibly spend enough of their money to keep the economy afloat. Until we get more money into the hands of more people this economy will stagnate.

Broadband Changes

The legislature in their infinite wisdom has voted that allowing the University of Wisconsin to extend their computer network throughout the State using Federal money will somehow harm the telecommunications industry and must be stopped. There is this belief among the Republicans that if the private sector can do something not only should they do it but they will and at a affordable price. Well, broadband is sort of like rural electrification. The companies are looking at the cost of extending fiber optic line across miles and miles of land which has no customers. It is just not going to happen and is not happening. This is where the idea to extend the network came from. People who live in rural areas (some not far from Madison) and smaller towns are unable to get high speed internet access which is important for education and businesses to create jobs. This is just another of the many laws recently passed that I don't understand. Providing lower cost internet to the rural parts of the State makes sense to me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rick Santorum is In

Rick Santorum is running for President. He was on with George Stephanopoulos and said the most incredible thing about Medicare. He faulted Paul Ryan for not going far enough. Then he proceeded to state that about 25% of Medicare recipients are currently in Medicare Advantage which is the same plan as the Ryan plan. He then went on the say that the primary takers of the program are the less educated and poorer retirees because they recognize that it is a good. This has to be a mis-statement. Some people would say that these are the people who are likely taken advantage of. In fact, he failed to mention that Medicare Advantage costs more, covers less, and people generally don't like it, which kind of indicates that they were taken advantage of. Again it fits in with the less education and less wealth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The letter writer said that the walkerville residents should change the name to Obamaville, or Unionville because it is their policies that have allowed them to be unemployed and have time to protest. Really! What misguided nonsense. Who drove the economy into the ditch. George Bush and a Republican Congress. They pursued a policy of tax cuts and deregulation of business and what did we get out of the deal. The top 2% got all of the money and left a banking, housing, and manufacturing sector in shambles. The answer from Scott Walker and the Republicans nationwide is that we need to do more of the same. We just didn't deregulate enough or cut taxes enough. I think that with the 10 years of tax cuts we should be in the biggest boom economy ever, but we are not. Why is that? It is really pretty simple, we could make the taxes on everyone zero and it wouldn't help the economy out at all because there is simply no demand. Revenues to Governments are down because we have cut taxes and the economy has not recovered. So, here Scott Walker is right we must cut back on expenses. But his cuts are to education, health care, taxes, and the environment in exchange for the exact kind of jobs that he and other Republicans have criticized the President for creating or funding as being unsustainable. Unfortunately we live in an economy that is predicated on spending money and right now only 2% of the population has the kind of money available to spend and they can't possibly spend enough to support the other 98% nor do they need to. This leaves the spender of last resort the US Government. The plan to fund infrastructure will create jobs and those people will spend money. The plan to build a 21st century transportation system will create jobs and allow for a more mobile workforce in the future. Right now we are funding these kinds of projects in Iraq and Afghanistan which doesn't create jobs here. In fact I just saw that Iraq is building renewable energy systems. We can't fund that here, instead we give tax breaks to companies who are making billions of dollars if they will drill holes in the ground. If we are going to change the name of Walkerville it should be to Republicanville.

The Bumper Sticker Said OOPs

The bumper sticker on the car in front of me said OOPS with the O's being the Obama campaign symbol. I for one don't understand the kind of strong opposition to President Obama. These same people would counter by remembering the opposition to President Bush. There was a big difference. Starting with Bush's election amid what appeared to be multiple cases of election fraud. Then he wrote and passed the patriot act. Then he became the first president in history to launch a pre-emptive war. Then he presided over 2 disastrous occupations (not the occupier in chief). Then he oversaw the distruction of the US economy. He spent as much as Obama on the economy except the lion share of the Bush expenditures went to the people who caused the mess to happen rather than to the people who were screwed out of house and home by these people. And where would we be in John McCain had won? McCain said that he had a plan to fix the economy, I can understand keeping it a secret during the campaign, but where is it? McCain said that he knew how to get Bin Laden, but he doesn't appear to have helped the President get Bin Laden. He said that he could end the wars, where is that plan, other than advocating for more wars and giving the President additional power with which to start future wars? No, I'm afraid that the President has not gotten as much done as I had hoped for but the alternative from the Republicans is to do pursue policies that do even more of what caused the economy to collapse and unravel the social safety net. They are truly disappointed that we don't have tent cities and people on the street. Their desire is to take the country back to 1929. Look up what it was like to be out of work, retired, poor, been a victim of bank failure, been a victim of fraud, ... in 1929 and tell me that is the kind of country we need to have today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

On the Road with Sarah

As candidate (personality) Sarah continues her vacation in the East she continues to mangle the Nation's history. Her latest gaff is on the ride of Paul Revere. Her telling is that he was warning the British that they were not going to come and get our guns but we were going to be free. Not exactly, he was riding to warn the colonists that the British were coming not to get your guns but to put down an armed rebellion and they were serious about it. This revisionist thinking that everything was about the right to be armed is non-sense. The revolutionary war is much more complex than that. Some colonists were angry that they weren't represented in the House of Commons, some were angry that the taxes were too high, and still others were angry that they were not making enough money in their businesses. The gun right didn't come until later and because they wrote 3 clauses into the amendment it has been hotly debated ever since. It says as we all know " A well regulated militia as being essential for the protection of the nation. The right to keep and bear arms. Shall not be infringed." The strict constructionists out there (Sarah) focus on the right to keep and bear arms. They don't talk much about the well regulated militia very much or the infringement. We have passed some type of concealed carry in nearly every State. But, nearly all of those require some type of license and or training. That is an infringement. Not talked about much by the NRA or the right wing. No one is out there saying that you need to be a member of a well regulated militia. Well regulated implies Government run and we know that Government is the problem. If not Government who has the power to regulate? The founders were not anarchists. They were businessmen, scholars (elitists), and farmers who recognized that Government played a role in regulating (leveling the playing field) and governing in order to maintain a civil society. This would be at odds with our current leadership which ignores the general welfare clause of the Constitution in favor of removing the safety net so that desperate people are on the streets. That scenario has not worked out well in history.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sarah Palin

Sarah has kicked off her nationwide vacation (to call it a tour would imply a schedule) by riding in a Harley parade. In her statement at the parade she channeled Robert Duval with her comments about how she likes the smell of the emissions. Some have said that she used emission as a slam to the liberal elite, I think that she was searching for something that would be remembered like Duval in Apocalypse Now. "Smell that,...that gasoline smell it smells like victory, I love the smell of napalm in the morning".

Wisconsin Voter ID and the Proof of Citizenship

The Wisconsin Legislature (Republicans) just passed the voter ID bill and a proof of citizenship during a traffic stop is working it's way through. On the surface these sound great. We don't want people who shouldn't be voting, voting. We also don't want people voting in the wrong area. You could change the outcome of the election, if for example a bunch of people from Madison decided that they wanted to vote against Rep. Nass they could go to Whitewater and vote against him. Same thing with the proof of citizenship, we don't want illegal immigrants working or driving cars. The problem with both of these bills they won't solve these problems. For voter ID they will accept a driver's license. The problem is that there are a lot of people who have driver's licenses who legally cannot vote. For example: convicted felons (you lose the right to vote permanently) , foreign nationals who are legal residents, and finally some illegal immigrants. The same problem applies to citizenship. Having a drivers license is not proof. Only a passport is proof of citizenship because it is issued by the State Department and is presumably difficult to forge.

I believe that if you really want to do voter ID you need to come up with a State issued ID for everyone who can legally vote with a renewal of every 2 years so that a reasonable attempt can be made to catch the people whose voter status may have changed. For the proof of citizenship require everyone to carry a passport.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New York 26th

The fall out from the special election in New York's 26th congressional district has been interesting. You have Democrats saying that it is the coming end of the Republicans. You have Republicans saying that it is meaningless. The most interesting reaction comes from our own Paul Ryan. Congressman Ryan said that the Democrats ran a campaign based on untruths and fear mongering about medicare. That the media fell for it and essentially created an environment where they couldn't win. Come on Paul! How do you think the Republicans won in 2010? How many times did we hear how disastrous "Obamacare" was? How many times did we hear about the "failed stimulus"? How many times did we hear that Obama raised taxes? That campaign was all about fear mongering. The truth on Medicare in Congressman Ryan's budget is that it will only affect those under age 55, so he is correct in that the seniors have nothing to worry about, but he is wrong that the rest of us have nothing to worry about. The truth is that you will get $8000 dollars to purchase health insurance without any increase for inflation when health care costs are rising at around 20% per year. The increase has slowed in recent years so maybe this will be ok. The problem comes with whether you can get insurance for $8000? The problem is can you get insurance for $8000 if you have a pre-existing condition? The problem is can you get insurance for $8000 if you are over 65? I'm afraid that the answers to these questions are no. When you combine that with the elimination and or reductions to pension plans, corporations eliminating or reducing the corporate match to 401K and stock purchase plans, and forecast reductions to Social Security and you rightly get fear. The Republican party wants to take the country back to 1928, when the safety net was practically non-existent and there was a tremendous amount of poverty and lack of healthcare among the seniors and the unemployed and the poor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exxon's great ads

I was watching TV the other night and an inspirational ad about energy came on. In this ad they talked about how innovation has led to extracting natural gas (cleaner fuel) from solid rock. Way cool, no mention of problems or complaints. Then I find that it is paid for by Exxon-Mobil. Aren't they the ones who had the big accident in Pennsylvania? And why no mention of what the process is called---Hydrofracking? This is a process that has been implicated in groundwater pollution all over the country. Drill baby drill. Shows the power of money and media access to control the message.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Concealed Carry

Wisconsin has begun debate on concealed carry again. But, unlike last time we now allow (or at least have ruled) extensive open carry. There are 2 competing bills. One would require a license the other would require nothing. As we all know there are 3 clauses in the 2nd Amendment and as far as I can tell the issue of licenses can't possibly be inferred from it. So, the correct bill is the one that allows concealed carry with no restrictions. One sheriff has gone on record as saying that we need licenses so that we now who is carrying. Doesn't that defeat one of the arguments that the NRA (who supports licenses, go figure) uses to fight gun control? The NRA believes that the Government can't know who has guns in case we start a revolution but yet they support allowing Government to know who is carrying a gun. I don't understand the sheriffs wanting to now who is carrying when these same sheriffs were all for open carry. If you are going to allow open carry without documentation why be restrictive on concealed carry? Of course, this gets us to the point of why do you need to concealed carry when you can open carry with no restrictions?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Obama's grades

Now that we have put to rest the birth certificate, Donald Trump is after the President's education record. Excuse me? Pat Buchanan says that he is an affirmative action kid. That may be true. The President's race may have played a role in getting into college, as it did for Clarence Thomas. Once you are in college there is no help for you and the President graduated from Harvard Law magna cum lauda. Does Donald think that Harvard gave those grades away because they were also in on the conspiracy that was at that time around 21 years in the making. May be Donald should be more concerned about releasing his life's records.

PS: What about the affirmative action for George Bush at Yale?

Town Hall Meetings

I just heard Nicole Sandler (noted liberal talk show host) discussing her arrest at Alex West's town hall meeting. The prevailing comments as well as main stream media articles (NBC ch 6) paint Nicole in the wrong. Why was it ok for the opponents of health care to disrupt the town hall meetings of Democrats but when people are being civil but ask questions about the Republican budget they are asked to leave and possibly be arrested. Where is the liberal media on this? Where are the Democrats making the same kinds of statements that the Republicans were making 2 years ago? The Republicans had to know that people would be upset about the budget. What is disappointing is that the Republicans are running away from trying to defend this budget and the MSM is not holding them to account.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unbelievable Again

I'm reading the news today and could not believe this item: former Wisconsin Republican Legislator Sheryl Albers is suing the State of Wisconsin for age discrimination. Let me get this straight a member of the political party that advocates the removal of most worker protections (unions had something to do with age discrimination laws) is suing under those same protections. The State's position is that she wasn't hired because the position is supposed to be non-partisan. Gee, do you think that maybe a former Republican in this role would not be thought of as being partisan (kind of like how David Prosser is non-partisan). She also complains that the individual hired has little experience and no college degree. Granted this suit refers to an incident in 2009, but since 2011 many high level positions in government have been filled by people meeting one of both of these charges and it is the Democrats complaining. Talk about a frivolous lawsuit!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Banff Mountain World Tour

Just returned from 2 days of the world tour in Madison. Great as always. If you are not doing adventurous things it is always great to watch people who are.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tax Protest

April 16th marked the third straight year that the Tea Party has had a tax day protest in Madison. This is fine except where have these people been? I used to attend the Libertarian protest at midnight at the Milwaukee St. Post Office with all of about 20 people when I lived closer to the post office. Where were they when George Bush (both of them), Bill Clinton, or even Ronald Reagan were President? What, you woke up in 2008 realizing that you paid taxes? The tax rate has in fact gone down, explains why the deficit is big. A lot of why the deficit is so big is related to the last President Bush's spending. The wars used to be off budget, they are now on budget. The TARP funds, the bank bailouts. Obama gets credit for bailing out GM (should have made it contingent on getting a new management team) and the stimulus package which has allowed construction projects to move forward.

I Should be a Tea Party Member?

I was told over the weekend that I should be a member of the Tea Party because I'm in that group that always pays. I'm not retired, on Medicare, unemployed, or disabled unlike so many in the Tea Party. I said that I would join if they weren't so stupid. The above list of people don't realize that those are government programs paid for by people like me. My children also went to private school for most of their school years but unlike the super wealthy I didn't whine about the need to get public money. I took another job instead.

Special report in the Wisconsin State Journal

Once again the State Journal is showing how the editorial page and the news page are separate. Much like they did with their series on rural health care (which made a really strong case for National Health Care) they are doing with a series on public employees. In Sunday's article they ran a graphic that showed exactly what the unions have said all along. First that there are more employees with college degrees and advanced degrees than in the private sector. Furthermore, these pubic employees with degrees earn less than their private sector equivalents. The only group of public employees earning more are the employees without college degrees. Maybe the news writers can write about how much economic impact an effective 8% pay cut for 300,000 people is going to have on the State.

Financial Managers here they come....

In reporting by Forbes (Ed Garvey has blogged as well) Scott Walker is drafting legislation patterned after Michigan that would allow the Governor to appoint someone to oversee the running of a city, village, or town that fails a financial stress test. This will actually work better in Wisconsin than Michigan because the budget cuts State aid to schools and municipalities and further prohibits them from raising taxes to off set the loss. So, most should become financially unstable pretty quickly. Talk about a big Government, anti-democratic measure. The plus side to this system is that we will only have to deal with one government body.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Own Paul Ryan

It is good to see one of our own garnering all of the media attention. The problem is that his plan for the future would be disastrous for the country. Okay, it cuts $4 trillion in spending, it reduces revenue collections (tax cuts) by almost an equal amount. He leaves defense alone at $724 billion. This is more money than any other country spends and it certainly more than the guys that we are fighting spend. What it does cut is everything else including the taxes of the wealthiest Americans. The thinking has got to be that we have had these tax cuts for 10 years and they have not created jobs in fact the opposite happened with the recession in 2008, the bank collapse, and the housing market collapse so we need to give them even more of a break. Wait hasn't the amount of money available to the top 2% of Americans increased exponentially but yet they won't hire people. Interesting, a thinking person would say that the tax cuts didn't work, but not Paul Ryan he says we need more. We also need less help for people who have not shared in the concentration of wealth. It is really too bad that Milton Friedman didn't live to see his policies enacted in the US. You would have thought that we would have learned something from South America.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Looks Like Theft

Breaking news that the County Clerk of Waukesha (a Republican) realized that she didn't submit 14,000 plus ballots from Brookfield. Really, no one noticed that when Waukesha reported 100% counted that Brookfield had zeros? Those ballots show Prosser beating kloppenberg almost 3 to one. There is enough weird about this situation that it looks like a stolen election.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DNR hire unqualified?

Okay, I believe that in order to work for the DNR in charge of regulation you should have a college degree. In response to my ramblings about Brian Deschane's lack of a degree I was told that a college degree was not the end all be all but being qualified was and Brian is just not qualified. If that is the standard that statement is just not true. What the Governor and the Secretary (also without degrees) want from that position is someone who will change the regulatory nature of the department. In that case he is perfect for the job. In the last 2 years he has worked for the Wisconsin Builders Association, working to change the burdensome rules and regulations covering construction in the State. These are regulations such as set backs, runoff protection, and filling in of wetlands and shorelines. This is the small government conservatism, why should government tell a private individual what they can do with their property? So what if it affects others, Wisconsin is open for business and someone without a college degree is qualified to undue burdensome regulation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Wisconsin Club for Growth (who are they?) has entered the fray.  They are running an ad portraying Joanne Kloppenberg as anti business because in her job as an assistant attorney general for the State of Wisconsin she prosecuted cases where businesses and farmers were the defendants and she was successful.  That makes me think that the state had a good case.  So, one is left to ponder what exactly Club for Growth is looking for, my guess is that they are looking for an activist who would overturn pesky laws regulating air, water, and soil pollution.  That we need to deregulate things like worker safety.  They are looking for a judge that will allow them to accomplish what they have been unable to accomplish legislatively.  And to think that Justice Prosser has been running away from the idea that he is in the hip pocket of the Governor.  Club for growth has basically said that justice Prosser will be that reliable vote for the Governor and business as the court goes about the business of overturning all laws that may affect business.  Open for Business indeed.  I want to open a factory and discharge my water into a class one trout stream, with justice Prosser's help I may be able to make that a reality.